This quintessential English village, nestling alongside the Beaulieu River, forms part of the 7,000-acre Beaulieu Estate. Lord Montagu's family has owned this estate since the Dissolution of the Monasteries in the 1530s.
As you travel around the area you will come across many signs bearing three red vertical diamonds, side-by-side, which signifies you are within the Beaulieu Estate.
Beaulieu Palace and gardens, which were opened to the public in 1952, are well worth a visit. The palace has been built around the original gatehouse in a mixture of Victorian Gothic, medieval Gothic and 18th century fortification style. It is also reputed to be haunted.
Beaulieu Abbey, the ruins of which are in the grounds of the famous National Motor Museum, was one of the largest Cistercian monasteries in England, and is also reputed to be haunted. The surviving building of the monks' dining room was transformed into the parish church, and the lay brothers' living quarters has been extensively restored and now houses the Beaulieu Abbey Museum.
The old mill building still remains having received some restoration work. It contains much of the mill machinery but it is no longer in use as a mill. Part of the building is being used for office accomodation, but the mill is not open to the public.
The National Motor Museum is on the B3056 Hatchet Lane (photo below). Visit the Beaulieu website for details of this and other attractions in the area.
Beaulieu National Motor Museum
Having just taken the photos of the Motor Museum (photos left - March 2015) I was heading back along the B3056 Hatchet Lane towards Beaulieu village.
I came across some ponies wandering on the road and causing traffic to come to a standstill (photos below). Being stationary at the time, I took the opportunity to get my Canon compact camera off my belt and capture the moment.
(Photo taken through the car windscreen so not the best quality, but better than nothing.)
After a couple of minutes some of the ponies moved off to the side of the road, allowing traffic to move slowly again driving around them. I put my camera away and concentrated on safely getting around them myself.
This encounter passed without incident.
I find these encounters so endearing and further adds to my enjoyment of driving around the National Park.
Beaulieu Estate Boundary and Information Sign
The three red diamonds on posts and signs denote ownership by the Beaulieu Estate.
King's Hat Inclosure
The Beaulieu River, featured here, is 12 miles long and flows from Lyndhurst, east and then south through Beaulieu. It becomes tidal here and once drove a mill in the village. The river continues through Bucklers Hard before entering the sea through the Solent. [Photos taken 15 March 2015]
King's Hat Inclosure (revisited)
[Photos taken 16 September 2016]
Village / Mill Pond / Mill Dam
Many of my photographs in this next set are around Mill Pond. The Beaulieu River flows south into Beaulieu forming Mill Pond up to the Mill Dam. From Mill Dam it becomes a tidal estuary, flowing further south into The Solent. [Photos taken June 2015]
Beaulieu Road Pony Sale Yard
The "Beaulieu Road Pony Sale Yard" (on the B3056 Beaulieu Road, Beaulieu) has been at its current location since the end of World War II, and continues to be an important place for Commoners to sell their ponies and buy new ones by auction.
Commoners are people who occupy land to which Rights of Common attach, which includes the right to graze stock on the Open Forest. This has been a way of life in the New Forest since medieval times.
The sale yard was rebuilt during 2002 to replace the one constructed after the last war. In 2011 further improvements to the site were made with installation of mains water, electricity, toilets and livestock vehicle wash down facilities. Finally, in 2013 a roof was constructed over the sale yard.
The sale dates for 2017 are as follows:
Wednesday 31st May / Wednesday 27th September / Wednesday 25th October / Thursday 7th December.